Once you have decided that you would like to enquire about becoming a foster carer with Brighter Futures for Children IFA, we’ll give you a call and arrange to visit you in your home

The enquiry and application process

1. Initial Enquiry

However you contact us, by phone, email, online or in person. One of our fostering team will be in touch to have a conversation with you and to answer any questions you have, so you can decide whether fostering is the right path for you.

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2. Home Visit

After that initial conversation, one of our fostering social workers will come out to visit you in your home. This is another opportunity for you to ask questions and to explore whether fostering is right for you, your family and your home.

3. Application Form

If you decide that fostering is right for you, we’ll leave an application form with you, for you to complete.

We’ll be here to guide you and help you through this process and offer support if you need it.

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4. Stage 1  Assessment

This stage covers all the checks that we have to do, such as statutory checks, health and safety, medical and DBS checks. We will also check your personal references. This is sometimes run alongside Stage 2. We will be in touch with you throughout.

5. Stage 2 Assessment

We meet you in your home at least eight times to complete this stage. During this time, you will complete the ‘Skills to Foster’ training, which prepares you to become a foster carer. You’ll also put together your portfolio of evidence, which you need for the final stage.

6. Foster Panel

This is the final hurdle! You and your social worker will go to fostering panel. You will present your portfolio of evidence and they will ask you questions and discuss your preparations to get to this stage.

The panel then make a recommendation to the ADM – the agency decision maker –  who will then approve you as a foster carer.

Ready to foster?

"Im SO pleased. This is something Ive wanted to do for SO long. I consider it a real privilege to be trusted to look after other peoples children who are in crisis or traumatised."

Man running with boy on bicycle

Are you already a foster carer? Come and foster with us.

All approved foster carers have the freedom to change the fostering agency they work with, as we appreciate carer’s situations can change. These rights are enshrined in the Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol which provides guidelines for when a foster carer wishes to transfer between agencies. There are different procedures depending on whether you have a child in placement or not. At Brighter Futures for Children, the first step is for one of our social workers to visit you at home to discuss your situation and explain the process. We will work with you at all times to ensure the transfer is as seamless as possible.

It can take about 3-4 months and we would aim to complete it as quickly as possible.

Most training is transferrable as all fostering agencies must follow fostering regulations.

In line with Section 10 of the Transfer of Foster Carers Protocol, we would continue paying your current rate for your current child in placement. For future children placed with you, the Brighter Futures for Children payment scheme would apply.

  • We are Reading’s local, not-for-profit fostering agency. We are committed to keeping local children and young people in our town, close to their friends, family and school
  • We have a 24/7 phone line support
  • Our Reading Carers’ Link support group of local foster carers meet regularly
  • Our trauma-informed practitioner is on hand to help
  • Plus we have a brilliant team of supervising social workers.

You can give our fostering team a call on 0118 469 3020 or email foster@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.

Enquire about fostering

Thank you for your interest in fostering with Brighter Futures for Children! You can foster if:

  • You have a spare room
  • You are over 21
  • You live within 20 miles of Reading

When you have completed the form, we will be in touch with you via phone and email to discuss your enquiry. There is no obligation or pressure to commit by completing this form, we are here to help you decide if fostering is right for you.

Data Protection

Brighter Futures for Children will keep your information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. You can read about how we use your data in our privacy notice.

  • To foster a child your home needs a spare room. This is defined as a separate space with a door and a window that is for the sole use of the child you are fostering.
  • As well as contacting you about your enquiry, we would also like to send you information about fostering by email. Please tick if you are happy for us to do this. You will be able to unsubscribe at any time through the link provided in the email or by contacting us foster@brighterfuturesforchildren.org.

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